Great CAD and Animation Tool for Fluid Power and Mechatronics


(Alexandria, MN, USA) May 27, 2016

Background

Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC) offers high quality technical programs that meet the economic and culture life style of Minnesota’s communities. This institution promotes a career-oriented education to help prepare their students meet industries’ expectations.

 

Situation

Among the programs offered, ATCC provides Fluid Power and Mechatronics classes where students are required to have a thorough understanding of hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical and mechatronic systems.

One of the main concerns for Mr. Todd Zarbok. Mechatronic Instructor at ATCC, is to provide his students the best training material to help them prepare for labs and understand circuit designs. "With simple CAD software, circuit design is very abstract and you can’t show students upfront what the class and lab expectations or outcome should be. The ability to animate circuits in Automation Studio™ is one of the major reasons why we decided to integrate this software to our curriculum," said Todd.

 

Efficiently preparing for labs

Automation Studio™ is now used in three different classes at ATCC: Hydraulic components, Pneumatic Components and Electrical Components. Prior to using the software, students were taught the fundamentals of fluid power by studying the different formulas in their lectures.

For the different class labs and projects, customized component libraries are created. Students are then given a basic overview of these libraries, and what they learn in lectures can then be rapidly deployed in lab.

When asked about the benefits of using this software, Todd said, "The efficiency in creating circuits has exponentially increased. With Automation Studio™, we can now draw circuits in a matter of minutes. The fact that you can animate prepares students for labs. They can test the circuit and make sure it works properly."

 

Meeting the industries’ expectations

ATCC’s mission is to best prepare their students meet the industries’ expectations. In Todd’s classes, students have an overview of the professional package offered by Automation Studio™. He shows his students how to read schematics, apply industry standards and create project templates. He also helps them reach a good understanding of how the industry works. In terms of preparing them for their future career, Todd added,
"The documentation produced from projects in Automation Studio™ allows students to maintain a copy of their work in their portfolio, which they can reference during interviews. It provides a lot of good discussion topics with future employers and gives them the opportunity to showcase their achievements."



Todd Zarbok
Mechatronic Instructor
Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC)
Alexandria MN, United States
www.alextech.edu